As a boy, Eric Bradley Siratt loved being outdoors, and he also loved history.

He combined both of those loves into a career as a state park ranger. Now he's taken it a step further, having recently being named superintendent at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

He has been a park ranger at the Cliffs for almost two years.

As superintendent since May 1, Siratt, 33, is in charge of making sure the park's operations are running correctly. And he's in charge of managing the park's budget.

"I will also make sure the park aesthetics are up to shape and looking good," he said. "That means making sure the grounds are upkept and bathrooms and facilities are clean. We've got a great staff here that does that. We all work as a team. They make my job easy."

Siratt is also supervisor of the park staff and does natural resource management and law enforcement.

"Every day changes, and that's one of the reasons why I enjoy this job," he said. "No day is alike. One day I could be leading programs and the next day I could be doing law enforcement, cutting trees or doing a search and rescue."

Siratt's done all of this before.

"If somebody gets lost on the trail, we'll go and find them," he said. "Sometimes they call us and tell us they're lost, and sometimes they don't. If we see a vehicle here and it's closing time, we have to account for every person that's in that vehicle and what trails they may have taken. And we'll go out and search for them.

"Most of the time, it's people that come out and get lost or come in right at dusk and think they can hike the trail in 10 or 15 minutes and it takes a lot longer. Then it gets dark on them. And if somebody's injured out on the trail, we'll go out and get them back safely."

Siratt doesn't just sit behind a desk all day. He goes out into the park.

"I don't think you can effectively run a park without being in your park," he said. "I try to make it a point to get out in the park and see park operations.

"My favorite part of the job is getting to meet different people and also working with the public. And then, too, see some of the wildlife out here, like red foxes, deer, turkeys. We actually preserve everything that's in the park. Even if it's a snake, we don't kill it. If it becomes a problem, we relocate it to another area in the park.

"Everything has a place in the park and in life."

Siratt, originally from Conway, S.C., got his forestry degree from Georgetown University. He has been a ranger at Myrtle Beach and King's Mountain state parks in South Carolina and Lumber River State Park in North Carolina before coming to the Cliffs.

He's also had basic law enforcement training, first responder training, search-and-rescue training and environmental education training.